Joining a group ride with a local cycling club or friends is a great way to break the monotony of solo training rides. While it can be a lot of fun, it can also be dangerous if you aren’t aware of basic principles.
Follow these tips for group-ride etiquette to stay safe and have fun when you decide to venture out on a club ride
1. WHEN YOU’RE IN THE FRONT, IT’S YOUR JOB TO KEEP OTHERS SAFE
Depending on the group, the leader may take the front or choose to form an alternating pace line. It’s important to take personal responsibility when you’re in front to keep those around you safe.
This includes using hand signals when making a turn, alerting others of approaching obstacles, maintaining a consistent speed and staying as far to the right of the road as possible to keep the group safe from traffic. You should also always follow local laws and avoid the urge to disobey traffic signals and street signs.
2. DON’T SPIT
Yes, there will be a time when you’ll need to clear your throat or do an air hanky. However, doing this in the middle of a group will not be appreciated. A more polite way to go about this is to wait until you’re in the back or pull to the left when it’s safe to do so. As always, make sure you let others know your intentions to pull over and be careful when re-entering the group.
3. BE PREDICTABLE
Hitting the brakes unexpectedly, standing up out of the saddle when it isn’t necessary or safe to do so and decreasing speed without alerting others can all lead to a crash when riding in a group.
To keep you and those around you safe, be as predictable as possible. If you’re going to change direction, speed or position within the group, let those behind you know before making the move.
4. BE MINDFUL OF OVERLAPPING WHEELS
A big mistake cyclists who are new to group rides make is overlapping the wheel in front of them. When this occurs, any adjustments made by the rider in front could cause their rear wheel and your front wheel to touch, which could lead to an accident.To keep this from happening, always ride directly behind the rider in front of you.
5. KEEP A CONSISTENT SPEED
Keep the speed consistent by monitoring your miles per hour or just go with the flow of the other cyclist as much as possible. This may require pushing yourself which is one of the many benefits of group riding.
6. WAIT FOR OTHERS ON CLIMBS
Keeping a group together on a climb can be tough. We will regroup or soft pedal at the top of the hills.
7. HELP OTHERS IF A MECHANICAL PROBLEM OCCURS
Having what you need on a bike ride is essential for a flat tire or other minor adjustments. Assisting the troubled rider will help them rejoin the group quicker and ensure everyone has a good day on the bike. If you have to borrow something from someone, please replace it ASAP.
8. HAVE A GOOD ATTITUDE
Sharing your love for cycling with others is part of what makes group rides so much fun. It is important to have a good attitude, encourage others and keep the mood light.
Group rides are a great time to learn from others, make friends and enjoy the comradery that can only be shared with other cyclists.
9. LEAVE THE EARBUDS BEHIND
Earbuds or headphones are not permitted on any Women@Work rides